18 Feb

Checking Out Pow Wow Hawai’i

This week was Pow Wow Hawai’i 2012, a “gathering of contemporary artists that engages with the broader community in the process and creation of art.” And engage it did. Our family took the afternoon to watch the international artists at work and to see their incredible creations. It didn’t hurt that we needed to be in the neighborhood to pick up hubby’s race pack for the Great Aloha Run on Monday, nor that the art was within blocks of Hank’s Haute Dogs (for fortification, of course). Pow Wow hawaii turned out to be the star of the day though.

I want very much to share some of the art we saw. Much of it was collaborative and in-process, so please forgive me if I have not given sufficient credit to the artists. I figure that since the nature of most street art is anonymous, just sharing the amazing work is acceptable. I’ve given names where possible, and more info can be found via the Pow Wow Hawaii link. Click on the photos to go to my Flickr pics which have a little more info. Hubby has more photos on his Flickr pages too.

This guy is part of an impressive corner mural depicting the Hawaiian coat of arms. It has a lot of legend and symbolism imbued in it, and man, the painting is good! Disclaimer: I’m not entirely sure if this is new, or from last year’s Pow Wow. I think it’s new.

Awesome mural representing the Hawaiian coat of Arms

Kamanawa, painted by Prime.

Powerful Hawaiian symbolism and legend courtesy of Pow Wow Hawaii 2012

This section is Kame’eiamoku and a he’e painted by Estria.

Warrior minions? Part of Pow Wow Hawaii 2012

These warriors were painted by Katch One

Hawaiian Legend portrayed by Pow Wow Hawaii 2012

Not far away is a huge wall depicting gods and goddesses of Hawaii. I forget who they all are and what each symbolizes, but it’s always in pairs such as heaven and earth, fire and water, air and snow, etc. Pele is easy to find, and I liked Lono riding his pigs, but snowy Poliahu was looking great as well. As I was talking to one of the artists and not getting all the names straight, he said this is why they wanted to make such a mural: to be educational as well as beautiful. Some of the artists participating in this collaboration were Estria and Trek Six and probably Prime.

Cool He'e (octopus) courtesy of Pow Wow Hawaii 2012

Another cool he’e by Estria.

I love this flower by Pow Wow Hawaii 2012

I love this flower.

Happy Face Spider courtesy of Pow Wow Hawaii 2012

The Happy Face spider is endemic to Hawai’i. The kids figure this one is happy because it’s on a web of cash!

Dangerous looking street art by Pow Wow Hawaii 2012

Further down the wall with the octopus and the spiders is this dangerous looking love by Katch. Again, I was really impressed by the quality of the artists. Damn, they can draw!

Knit bomber adds to Pow Wow Hawaii 2012 street art

My knit buddy Michelle got in on teh action too and tagged two pipes with spam knitsubi!

More Yarnbombing

And there’s a Hannasaurus rex on a nearby parking meter. Feed me!

Playing with the art at Pow Wow Hawaii 2012

It was hard not to be drawn in by the art.

Katja and a Party Fish

At first I thought this was a unicorn fish, but the kids pointed out the string hanging down and informed me it was a party fish.

Menehune racing wild pigs courtesy of Pow Wow Hawaii 2012

Around the corner from the fish and zombie-esque cutie were a bunch of local artists mashing it up. The theme at this end was mauka to makai (mountains to the sea), and as it was facing a park, it was somewhat sporty. Above are tattooed cliff divers and below are menehune racing pigs. I love the iconic ’40s style menehune (something like fairies) on their fluffy boars. Looks like wonderful pandemonium to me.

Fisherman’s Warf use to be a destination restaurant. Now it’s a derelict building on a main thoroughfare. As of this week it’s been made more interesting with a happy melange of graffiti by Flying Fortress, 123Klansman (scien, klor, cleo, & tommy), and Moby Slick (I think).

An improvement to decaying Fisherman's Warf. Thanks Pow Wow Hawaii.

Juke Box Whale! Courtesy of Pow Wow Hawaii 2012

Watch those tagger crabs! Pow Wow Hawaii 2012

Australian artist Phibs ended up with his own wall which he filled with this graphic red-head. It was amazing watching him paint. He made flowing lines so effortlessly and gracefully.

Impressive mural at Pow Wow Hawaii 2012

I think this wall was the collaboration to end all collaborations. ┬áSo many artists worked together on it and they blend and overlap so interestingly. Everyone seemed to be having a good time too — watching each other work, adding bits here and there, and checking out how each site was growing. Participants include “Angry Woebots” who painted the angry pandas (which he says counter the popular image of cute pandas and could be mad because they are endangered), Peap Tarr, Meggs, Barras, Jago, Aaron De La Cruz and Jeff Hamada (I think).

Extremely collaborative effort courtesy of Pow Wow Hawaii 2012

I’m not sure whose brainchild this one was, but it was basically a funky cat with a bunch of characters in it’s mouth. Angry Woebot is adding a panda to the mix. But the coolest thing was how the cat artist had used a cement overhang as the bill to the cat’s baseball cap.

Adding to the collaboration that is Pow Wow Hawaii 2012

All in all it was a great way to get out of the house, interact with the community, see some fun art, and have a nice family outing. there were lots of others out enjoying the Pow Wow too. I hope that they are able to continue this event to both engage locals and to add character and beauty to otherwise dreary neighborhoods.